Friday, May 4, 2018

Friday Video: The Last of the Dukes

Friday, May 4, 2018

1st Duke of Wellington-married
Loretta reports:

In Romancelandia, we create gorgeous young dukes by the thousands. In real life, as I and others have noted, there were fewer than two dozen, more or less, depending on the time period. And of those few, as I discuss here at RT Reviews, the number who were young, handsome, and single was very small, depending on the year. In the time of my recent stories (1833 & 1835), there were two single dukes, and it was clear they would never marry. Also, they were not young.

6th Duke of Devonshire-lifelong bachelor
The video—thank you, Susan, for sending me the link & letting me do the honors!—is an hour long, but it’s very well done, and if you can set aside some time, I think you’ll find it fascinating.

No doubt it will raise a great many reactions and questions. A few things I try to remember about the British aristocracy: (1) Even though we have vast economic inequality in the U.S., it’s hard for us Yanks to truly understand that class system and the way people in the UK feel about it; certainly the feelings, positive and negative and in between, exist at a depth I don’t think we can ever fully grasp. (2) Working conditions for the staff were generally hard—in some cases horrifically so—but that was the case for many working people (there and elsewhere), and those grand houses and estates employed and supported a lot of people; also, the conspicuous spending provided work to tradespeople. (3) As in every other walk of life, you have lovely people and you have the other kind.

Those are just a few comments on a big topic. I have a great many more, but I’ll leave it to you to form your own opinions, make your own observations, and so on. For starters, it will be interesting, though, to find out who’s your favorite and least favorite!

Images: Thomas Lawrence, 1st Duke of Wellington, c. 1815-16

Thomas Lawrence, 6th Duke of Devonshire (you can read more about him here)

Clicking on the image will enlarge it.  Clicking on the caption will take you to the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.


Doreen Knight said...

Apparently not available in the UK?

Liz said...

Well, that was an enjoyable and informative watch. Didn't expect it to come through here in Canada, but it did for once. Thank you!

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